New report highlights opportunities for prohibition in West and Central Africa

West and Central Africa is home to nearly 237 million children. Of these, 96.5% live in states where they are not legally protected from corporal punishment in the family home and other settings. The Global Initiative’s new report, published jointly with Plan International and Save the Children, reviews progress towards prohibition of corporal punishment of children across the region.

The urgent message of the report is that almost all West and Central African states have current opportunities to fulfil their human rights obligations to prohibit all corporal punishment of children in all settings of their lives. Aiming to promote immediate action on these many opportunities for prohibition, the report documents the legal status of corporal punishment and the reforms needed to achieve prohibition in all West and Central African states and provides guidance on the process of law reform.

In a message in the report, Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Chair of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and Vice-Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, says,

“In Africa, to date only six states have prohibited corporal punishment of children in all settings, including in the home; among the West and Central African states covered in this report, only Togo, Cabo Verde and the Republic of Congo have fully prohibited corporal punishment.

“But encouragingly we know that other states in these regions are publicly committed to a complete ban and in some cases have prepared the necessary draft legislation. We look forward to the enactment of such laws….

“Creating an Africa fit for children cannot be achieved in an environment where some of our laws and practices condone violence against children.”

The report is available here (English and French).

Hard copies are available from